The embodiment of Imperfect Parenting, Miranda only does honesty. Here she tells us about the reality of becoming a parent and how even when you leave the nappies behind the dog days aren't over yet.
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So, after eight years of changing nappies, feeding and being bound to times, just as I left that chapter of my life behind, I decide to get a puppy. It is very similar to having a newborn. They cry through the night, demand your full attention, have a routine which must be stuck too and need naps. Naps which you end up thanking a higher being for, as without them, you would have no time for yourself. See? Exactly like a baby!
Having babies has been the best and to be brutally honest, the worst thing I have ever done. You go from being with someone, just the two of you, (or not as the case may be) to having this screaming, demanding, beautiful human being who suddenly controls you all, the third member of the family. And no NCT class or parents to be groups can prepare you for this. The pro’s and con’s of a mustard colour nappy v’s a marmite coloured pales into insignificance, once you and your other half, are screaming at each other across the bed
"I have been at work all day"
"Well I have been up all night".
The need for sleep eclipses everything else and you wonder why you were ever taught about the colour of poo in the first place!
Personally I think I should start the ‘Real Guide to Parenthood’. Where we should talk about the reality of it all. It is not about labour or calm and serine birth plans. That is only one or two (if you are unlucky) days of pre-parenthood.
It soon becomes apparent that that was the easy part (although it didn’t seem like it, at the time). No, parenthood stretches out after you bring your screaming, vulnerable, beautiful bundle home. After the bubble of the three of you together in the love hub of the hospital, looking lovingly at what you have created is over. Long after your husband and family members have given up treating you like some sort of mythical being who has given them the greatest gift on earth, (yup that fades as quickly as a newborn’s novelty) - that is when parenthood really begins!
I don't want to sound all doom and gloom, but when the partner goes back to work it’s a daunting time. You’re feeling lonely, then feeling bad, for feeling lonely, as this is what you have wanted/yearned for/prayed for. Whatever your path, all mothers feel the same. Not all admit to it. In fact even writing this is controversial and I am sure many will vilify me. All I ever wanted was for someone to say.....
"It is ok to feel this way" "You are not a terrible person".
It is ok to yearn for the unselfish you.
This sounds rather bleak, I don't mean it to be. I just wish someone had explained this, even though I would have said to myself
"It will not be like this for me".
This sentence has been said by mother’s for centuries, that’s why we all still have children. It is worth it though, for the smiles, the love we feel, the moments, it is all worth it. Even with a smear of baby poo on your forehead or a tattoo drawn on your forearm by your toddler. The swear words and bad behaviour in public. It is all worth it.
So, as I watch my puppy wreaking havoc all over my house, and watch my daughter weeing all over the house for attention, for she was always the baby in the family and is now trying desperately to out do the dog......Know this, you are not alone, whatever you are going through, we have all been there, and it is ok.
It is the best of times and the worse of times and you need to surround yourself with people who love and get you. There is no room for the judgemental, the breastfeeding stalwarts, the friends who have older children and know it all. Just feel your way and trust your instincts. Embrace motherhood but above all, don't lose yourself, remember who you were, who you are and who you will be again.
You are still here but you have baggage and that comprises of muslins, nappies, nappy cream and scented poo bags, oh and the baby of course! See the funny side of arriving at a party with a baby who has shat up its back and is screaming its head off. I always envisioned myself with a baby on hip looking effortlessly glam and composed……... Laughs hysterically